CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Drones are getting less expensive and more popular, and it turns out there are a lot of gray areas as far as where you are allowed to fly one.
The reason we are looking into this is because a woman posted on the next-door app concerned about a drone flying close to her backyard. She wanted to know where drones could fly without interfering with privacy.
Is it legal to fly a drone right over someone's house in North Carolina?
Yes, it is legal to fly a drone right over someone's house in North Carolina.
As long as they are following FAA regulations and not violating state laws regarding privacy and trespass.
WHAT WE FOUND:
In the United States, the FAA has the sole authority to regulate all navigable airspace and determines the rules and requirements for its use.
Perlman, who teaches drone pilots the rules and regulations, said there are some pretty strict requirements under the FAA.
"The pilots do have to fly in compliance with FAA airspace, so even if they are just flying for fun, it has to be uncontrolled airspace," Perlman said.
The FAA has airspace classes A through G, all airspace classes require air traffic control except for class G, known as uncontrolled airspace.
According to FAA rules and regulations, it's free game for commercial and recreational drones to fly in uncontrolled airspace up to 400 feet, as long as they are following all the rules and regulations. However, there are some privacy rules in North Carolina drone operators should know.
MORE ON WCNC: Yes, you do have to pay taxes on cryptocurrency
Attorney Gary Mauney told us some laws restrict drone operators from taking pictures or videos of people in the privacy of their backyard or home without their consent.
"If they are filming you without your consent, it's also a misdemeanor in North Carolina," Mauney said.
He went on to say:
"The other aspect of it is you have the right to your enjoyment of your property as well, so if the drone is 15 hundred feet where it is not interfering with the enjoyment of your home."
Mauney told us there are also trespassing laws that can apply to drones.
"If the drone is flying over your yard, let's say they are at the rooftop level or below that it's a trespass," Mauney said.
Mauney told us in North Carolina, you can take action against a drone that is trespassing in your yard.
"Things that are on your tree line, things that are on your house line that is part of your private property," Mauney said. "So if anyone is flying a drone within that space, they are a trespasser, and you can take any action you would usually be able to take."
VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.